Bergen LEADS emerged in late 2007, when Volunteer Center staff and Board members, who had recently participated in Leadership New Jersey (LNJ), saw an opportunity to translate the LNJ experience into one tailored specifically to Bergen County. They had relished LNJ’s approach to instruction – informative and inspiring, with a stimulating combination of critical information about issues in New Jersey, interesting speakers, lively panels and eye-opening site visits and field trips – all with a healthy dose of team building and camaraderie tossed in.
They saw a need for and an opportunity to develop a similar program for people living and working in Bergen County. The seeds of LEADS were planted…
The idea was tested with a number of leaders in the County, and was enthusiastically received by every one. The prospect of having the program operated under the auspices of the Volunteer Center of Bergen County also resonated, and after careful consideration by the Volunteer Center’s Board of Directors, the go-ahead was given to develop Bergen LEADS.
Since then, the program has garnered significant financial support and the active involvement of some of the County’s most prominent leaders and practitioners who serve on the Bergen LEADS Advisory Panel. Other County leaders and educators have helped to develop an exciting curriculum under the guidance of William "Pat" Schuber, the Bergen LEADS Seminar Director, and Lynne H. Algrant, Seminar Co-director.
The first Bergen LEADS class graduated in June 2009.